25 Aug 2009

Eco Bollocks Award: The Living Wall

Back in June when I visited the BRE Onsite exhibition, I saw not one, but three examples of Green or Living Walls on display. Having never seen one before anywhere, I was immediately suspicious. Here are some of the photos I took.

For those remaining in blissful ignorance, a living wall is an upmarket version of a trellis with clematis or honeysuckle growing over it. Instead of a few slats of timber, you have to create a stainless steel grid screwed or bolted onto the fa├žade. And instead of a bit of judicious watering of an evening during dry spells, these living walls come supplied with their own self-irrigating systems.

OK, it’s not exactly designed for the domestic market, but it does sort of strike you as an invention the world really doesn’t need.

But I didn’t think anything more about it until alerted this morning to this story which appeared in the Evening Standard about a living wall in Islington that’s gone kaput and is now a dead wall. Because the irrigation system didn’t work. How surprising is that?

So I thought it would be a good time to offer it an Eco Bollocks Award. Haven’t done one for a while and this seems to me to be a pearl.

7 comments:

  1. Dear me, that thing looks awful.

    Maybe they could stick a windmill on it... or something...

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  2. Great!

    Mark, presumably your slow down on giving awards is due to lack of time rather than lack of eco bollocks examples??

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  3. Nick,

    I'd like to think so, but the truth is that there is just so much rubbish out there it's hard to see the wood from the trees and I've rather taken my eye off the boil.

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  4. I like the idea. Especially for people who have no space. They can have a garden on their wall. :)
    Although it might be tough to maintain.

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  5. living walls are useful in the right place and (like all planted solutions) with the right maintenance regime in place

    - they offer a great solution for those who would like to grow plants in urban areas who have limited space -

    I invite you to review Woolly Wally Pockets - made from recycled plastic, conserve water, hold soil and allow the root systems to breathe thereby promoting healthy plants

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  6. Good call on this one Mark. It appears to be anything but eco.... Now if it was self sustaining, not requiring a watering system, pumps and all the other trappings of supporting infrastructure it may have a point, turning a blind eye to the carbon burden of a large stainless steel trellis, etc etc....

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  7. AnonymousJuly 04, 2013

    I used to visit BRE quite often and remember this thing going in - it was hilarious because every few months it would die off, and you'd see the contractors back on site installing a new bunch of grass. Nice idea but no cigar...

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